A style of house that originated in Queensland, Australia, but is also found in other northern parts of the country. Its defining features are deep verandahs that may surround the entire house, sometimes partially enclosed; a peaked roof typically made of corrugated iron; timber flooring (with unplastered timber walls too in older buildings); and large stumps that raise the building's underside off the ground, anywhere from knee-height to several metres. The interiors are typically airy and open, with large central living rooms and thin walls to keep the thermal mass at a minimum. These features are all intended to deal with the hot, humid, and flood-prone Queensland climate. Raising the building allows better circulation of air (in my sister's old house the wind would whistle up between her floorboards), and keeps things dry in a flood. The deep eaves overhanging the verandah keeps direct sun off the house, and the verandahs themselves function as a living space during the cooler evenings & nights.

The building-on-legs construction also has the unusual effect of allowing the house to be lifted off its stumps (if you have enough machinery), and either transported elsewhere or raised up higher. A house near where I lived in Brisbane was sold one week, and the next week it was picked up and placed a few metres closer to the street, presumably because the new owners wanted a bigger back yard. In many suburbs one can find Queenslanders perched upon a lower floor made from brick, which is the extension that has been added by lifting the house up above it.

Unfortunately, since the advent of cheap, universally available air conditioning, the style has become much less popular for new builds — driving through Brisbane, the relative ages of the suburbs can be gauged by the proportion of the houses that are on legs. Nowadays, instead of relying on natural (and admittedly, often only marginally effective) methods of cooling, people usually opt to build typical modern homes on a concrete slab, and cool them artificially. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I personally think it's sad to lose a local style in favour of a cheaper and (arguably) blander global trend.

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